Men's Volleyball, Sports

LBSU downed in first two MSPF matches

The Long Beach State men’s volleyball team opened Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play with back-to-back losses.

The first loss came to No. 5-ranked USC in sweeping fashion. The 49ers were dropped in straight sets, 25-17, 25-16, 25-18 at the Galen Center.

Sophomore Taylor Crabb led the ‘Niners (2-2, 0-2 MSPF) with a strong performance, amassing 10 kills and seven digs for the match. Senior Brad Hemmerling pitched in seven kills for LBSU, while sophomore Connor Olbright finished the match with 25 assists and six digs. The Beach were held to just .088 hitting on the evening.

The Trojans (3-0, 2-0 MSPF) jumped out to an early 8-2 lead in the opening set. The Beach was able to remain close, however, cutting the Trojan lead to 11-8 before USC used a 5-0 run to extend their lead to 22-14. The Trojans were able to capitalize on a couple 49er errors en route to the 25-17 first set victory.

The second set was more of the same for USC. The Trojans were able to take control of the set early with a 7-2 lead, and eventually held a 20-10 advantage in which the ‘Niners were unable to recover from.

The 49ers were able to stay even with USC through the first nine points, but the Trojan attack proved to be too much for LBSU to handle. USC used another 5-0 run to run The Beach out of the Galen Center in straight sets.

The second MSPF match was a close four-set loss to No. 7-ranked Pepperdine at Firestone Fieldhouse.

The ‘Niners were led by Crabb’s sixth career double-double. Crabb finished with 15 kills and a career-high 14 digs, but it still wasn’t enough in the 25-22,14-25, 26-24, 26-24 loss.

LBSU recieved an outstanding performance from Freshman John La Rusch, who finished with 12 kills on .409 hitting on the match. Senior Srdjan Nadazdin just missed a double-double himself, finishing with 10 kills and nine digs. Olbright passed out 50 assists on the evening.

The Waves were led by Josh Taylor who had 17 kills and eight digs for the match. Maurice Torres also had a solid performance, coming up with 16 kills and eight digs, while Chase Ross finished with 12 kills for Pepperdine.

The 49ers travel to the Matadome on Friday, as they look to garner their first MSPF win against Cal State Northridge.  

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